It’s hard to believe that Tumult Hype has been officially released for five years.
Prior to development, I was skeptical HTML animations could be fluid on the iPhone. My first test for feasibility was simply dragging an element underneath the mouse and inspecting the frame rate! Luckily the test proved positively that HTML5 could and should replace Flash. Of course, it took the industry much longer to move on; Google Chrome is just now dealing the final blows to the aging technology.
We weren’t the only company to understand the need for tools for graphic designers to take advantage of HTML5. We’ve seen many competitors come, but we’ve outlived quite a few, and of course welcome their users to our growing community :). Building a creative tool is hard, a great one even harder, and one that needs to balance animation features, performance, file size, and the ever changing landscape of browsers and devices while being a sustainable business is even harder yet.
In five years, we’ve introduced many new features and a complete redesign. The true test for progress is if you feel after a new version is released that it is painful going back to the previous one. I’m happy to answer yes for every major version of Tumult Hype, and I don’t think there’d be much disagreement from our users. The other test is, as a developer, how many features needed to be reworked over time? I can only count two major reworkings to Hype: the timeline interface using a separate detail pane for properties (this was mostly to accomodate groups in v1.5, but overall still a superior UI), and the single-window interface for v3.0. We’ve changed a few keyboard shortcuts here and there, but overall the app and product has been very stable for users. Watching the 1.0 welcome video, I’d have trouble to find spots that won’t still apply to the current product. In fact, our quick intro video today uses the exact same audio it used in the version 1.0 version! No, we’re not lazy, we have a consistent product!
Glancing at the 1.0 screenshot above, I can’t help but notice the Hype icon stands out. Little known fact, the Hype 1.0 icon was designed by Susan Kare. We did end up replacing it, and iterating the concept for Yosemite’s UI, but seeing the first one gives me a nostalgic feeling for the world five years ago. That was the world where we had dreams of what web animation could become but hadn’t. I’d like to think through the work put into Hype, we’ve gotten a little closer to reaching our dreams.
Here’s to another five years!